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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« CCTV Basics - Wired day & night outdoor camera. | Main | The Big SJ5000+ Action Camera Review »
Sunday
Mar012015

K1S - The first Front & Rear Hidden 1080p Dash Camera

My full video review for the K1S 2ch HD Car DVR is below. 
   
  
If you want to watch my 'Beginners Guide To Dashcams' video - Click here.
   
The K1S manufacturer website is here, and pdf manuals for the camera can be found here.
   
For my downloadable sample videos click here  As always, download these files to your machine before viewing them - streaming will make them look worse than youtube.
Note: These files have been manually trimmed for length (and filesize) - therefore the start and end points for the front and rear clips no longer match each other perfectly.
  
Size Comparison
The control unit is approximately the same thickness as a box of cards but a bit smaller overall (without cables).
   
Buying the K1S
I’ll add links below as and when I discover additional resellers. 
 
EBAY
US link here
UK link here
  
AMAZON
(US) With GPS: http://amzn.to/1MKU4lY
(US) Without GPS: http://amzn.to/1DBbUpZ
  
  
 
   
UPDATE 02 March 2015
I've received the answers to a few questions I asked the manufacturers.
 
1) The Car Lamp Open/Closed menu as expected does warn the driver if they are driving in the dark with the headlamps off. It judges this by the exposure.
  
2) Apparently the battery used is a Standard GoPro size....which is great. Normally I try to avoid dashcams that use batteries, because when the internal battery fails you have to replace the whole camera - in this case you can buy a new battery. Just a reminder -  I can't comment on the long term reliability of any cam after only a month of use.
 
3) I wasn't sure how the emergency button handled the files. I was concerned that if you saw something you wanted to keep - but the camera started recording the next file before you managed to press the button then you would be protecting the wrong clip. Well it turns out the manufacturer has thought of this. "When this button is pressed, if current recording is less than 1 minute, then current file and the file before this (together 2 files) are locked"
 
4) Not a question, but I have raised the issue of the need for resellers in China who can export to Europe and also the Speedcam database is no use in the UK until the camera can support additional database formats. Both these things are being explored...but the database issue isn't a simple quick fix.
>>>>>IMPORTANT - READ THIS... (OCTOBER 2016)
Both my cars had a K1S installed until a couple of months ago - They were still working 100% at the point I took them out. I removed them so that I could test other cameras, although I was getting a bit sick of the rear wire interfering with the rear hatchback door on both cars - this would work better in a car with a fixed rear window.  It seems that my experience is not the same as that of other people - perhaps the manufacturer changed the product after I purchased my cameras...but if you read through the comments it seems that other people are having lots of reliability issues. You may have noticed that this is no longer on my list of Recommended Cameras - and this is the reason. I was happy with the performance of both of my cameras for 18 months...but perhaps my experience was uncommon. 

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Reader Comments (642)

Thanks Darren!

November 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErik84_NL

we've been reading here for a while now and were enthusiasts about the site... too bad that lately many of the reactions are from vendors, just offering their product for sale. to me that make this site look more like an advertising site than a helpfull forum...
but then again, maybe that's just me thinking out loud here

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentertruus

I'll get in there and delete any comments that look like spam. I was assuming the spam filter on the comments was working.

December 1, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, anyone help!
Been looking at the Koonlung K1S for a few weeks now, a little expensive so looking for alternative. Came across the Mini range and found Mini 0826 and Mini 0806. Can anyone tell me if the Mini 0826 is a good Dashcam, Website I found the Mini 0826 only site, www.hddashcam.co.uk

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRaj

It is not so good to send so many advertisement here,but

I was a little surprised that the unit I received had buggy March firmware installed, given it was supposed to have been manufactured in October. No problems though, I asked for updated firmware and this was supplied via email (Rolei initially sent Mph f/w but I needed Kph, so he sent the correct one in a second email). I installed the update supplied by Rolei, and the unit works perfectly now. Very helpful supplier, even managed to expedite shipping via DHL for me. Five stars for Thumbs Up/Rolei Rolei's excellent support. Note: don't ask Koonlung for support via their website, they ignored my support request. Zero stars for them: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/938911

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQuentin Tatham

Hi Russell

i remember you getting the k1s awhile back, and you report it was used to show your innocence
got your moneys worth sounds like already, but the loss of the plate informations is a bummer you report being blurry
you raise an interesting point that when and where possible write it down, say it to a passenger or record it somehow for later recall

my plates are clear but only under ideal circumstances i would say
but it is possible to see plate info at times
cars coming from the other lane towards me are blurry,
but if you notice Police Dash Cams, they are worse, those with much less detail and many other youtube videos
check it out, most of time plates are blurry

WHAT I THINK IT SHOULD BE?
a smart dash cam that frames the plate with auto zoom and marks this on the video file
same as a camera using the smile face and takes a photo. My Sony Cam somehow identifies people and focus on them instead of background so i know its possible its just not done yet

as far as koonlung ? that is not the company spamming techmoans site, i asked about that other page to confirm/verify with no response other than another aliexpress spam post. Good Luck with any support from this imposter claiming to be koonlung

posting onTechmoans Site any name can be used, at any time,
can call your self whatever, is why you find competitor shills also show up here, with bogus informations about the k1s

Actual Users Know Whats Going on, its great you guys post what you know, let us know your install and how customer service is going for you and issues you may have and provide solutions you got. KoonLung imposter above wont help you at all.
its obvious ....review the spam and decide. appears desperate!

in closing USE A UHS-1 Class 10 at least...... not a regular sd card will work without recording issues
It Needs To Be UHS-1 professional grade, and beware of fakes they dont work either. I use Lexar 633 without issue.

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

not " Koonlung " the Mfg, as made to believe.
Store Name: Thumbs Up Electronics / China

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

Hello Blake,

Sorry if I missed some information,we are the internal sales channel for Koonlung ,but if anyone would like to ask something about K1S,can post message to
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-HD-1080p-Koonlung-K1S-Dual-Dash-Camera-Kit-GPS-Ambarella-A7LA70-Car-DVR-2CH-Hidden/32495411971.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.1.LVP2kd&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_7_79_78_77_80,searchweb201644_0,searchweb201560_2

sorry for so many posts but just simply want everybody to notice there is another way to get cheaper price but 100% original Koonlung product.

We are not imposter but indeed we are helping to push sales for Koonlung K1S
and by the way,we are starting to offer free Chrismtas Santa Claus free ballon for every customer comes from Techmoan .

Sorry again for so many posts

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKoonlung K1S

Thankyou so much for reviewing the K1S
I was just about to purchase a Carvun F30 which ticked most of my boxes
The K1S however does this and more, the idea of individual lens gives me more options for placement
And since my car wss rearended in a hit and run with a no plate 4WD clear evidence is needed for next time.
The minute your review ended I went and bought myself a K1S

Thankyou for always doing fantastic reviews you are both fun and informative to watch.
Alice Renae Paige

December 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Renae Paige

Hi matt iv just ordered this dash cam but I was wondering if anybody can tell me what is the best sd card to use in it
Thanks
Gerry

December 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on the battery. Doesn't appear to be a super capacitor and I'm tossing up between the KS1 and the BlackVue DR650GW-2CH WIFI. Seems like the DR650GW has a capacitor which is the only thing holding me back from the KS2 (DR650GW does cost more of course).

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWin

Best SD. Not a Sandisk Ultra. I've had problems. Trying to figure myself what is best and reliable.

I've been advised samsung or lexar u3. I'd say something that does 4k. Fast as possible!

December 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNiall

After reading through all 462 comments today I think this is the dash cam for me. Have read other reviews and they seem positive in the majority. Most problems seem to be caused by the memory card so have made a note to purchase a UHS-1 32g sd card. I'm keen to get the latest version / update so does anyone have any ideas where the best place to buy from is?

December 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Someone asked if anyone has the speed camera functionality working on the UK. Yes! See my post at http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=95531&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15. However, it doesn't seem possible to change the warning tones. The mobile and SPECS alerts are *very* intrusive, and I've now given up on these, just loading in the Gatso cameras.
Despite my fast card I'm still getting problems once the card has filled with 2-3 second outages at the end of each file. Very annoying! I've just tried the 180 firmware, but - despite everyone saying that the audio is better - my audio has gone completely! :-( That being said, it's not very good anyway, and I might go back to 180 to see if the reported lower bit rate cures my reporting problems.

December 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike Atkinson

Thankyou Darren for the r180 software link

January 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Renae Paige

I bought a K1S for myself as a xmas present. I've just installed it and love it. Except I'm upgrading from a buggy Blackvue DR550GW with Power Magic Pro and the K1S is supposedly drawing 2.1A which the PMP isn't supplying so I've had to plug the K1S straight into a 12v socket.
I need the parking mode which will no longer be sufficient from just the K1S internal battery (and the draw is too much anyway) so now I'm looking for a Parking Mode setup with alternative cameras. I may just install the Blackvue again for parking mode as it did an adequate job (aside from the date varying between 2014 and 2029 and the rear camera connector broke early on) but that will only cover the front of the vehicle and is a bit larger than I really want.

I thought the K1S had to ticked all the boxes but not quite it turns out. My searches for Park Mode only cameras has come up with nothing. I've looked at the Anypower T POWER PLUS battery pack but the output is only 2A so probably not good enough. I'm off to look at nanny cams for vehicles I think....

January 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGary from Oz

2015 NEW Hot Sales Koonlung K1S Ambarella A7LA70 Dual Lens Dash Camera Car DVR GPS Wired Control Button Front Rear Speed Camera

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-HD-1080p-Koonlung-K1S-Dual-Dash-Camera-Kit-GPS-Ambarella-A7LA70-Car-DVR-2CH-Hidden/32495411971.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.1.gMeh8f&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_3,searchweb201644_5_79_78_77_82_80_62_81,searchweb201560_8

January 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK1S

A problem has developed with my unit which I’ve not found anyone else report on. It worked fine for the first 3 months but now it continuously powers on and off every 1 second or so. In short, the unit is unusable. The problem only occurs when the front camera wire is plugged in. If just the rear camera wire is plugged in it is fine (but obviously there is no recording from the front camera!). I’ve tried restoring factory settings and formatting the SD card, but it seems to be an issue with the unit almost short-circuiting whenever the front camera is plugged in. Any ideas gratefully received. The firmware is K1S:R158/2015047. Thanks.

January 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMonsoon

Update to my comment on page 14 where I said to the effect "The K1S dashcam randomly fails to record an hour long journey and often leaves 10 second gaps between files", I think I have found the problem. Since I changed the video file recording duration from 5 seconds to 2 seconds it appears to work fine. My guess is that it takes longer to delete the larger (5 sec) files, causing the occasional 10 second gap in recording or making it stop (lock up/crash) altogether.

January 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNigel Broatch

Nigel Broatch Said: I think I have found the problem.

That's great Nigel, as a fellow K1S owner its good to see some feedback from an actual user, even if all it does is save me from having the same issues in the future!

Thanks again.

January 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Jee

Recording Times for me is the Max not the Shortest and I got mine working without issue

i guess you need to go with what works, play around with the settings, then set it and forget it.
mine does not talk cause i did not do the update.
ha ha for those that did, i still am in KM

heard the new ones now come with both mph and kph and can toggle between the two in the menu
with the latest update in November, but i dont want to touch anything cause its fine for now.

will swap it out when something is better in the Dual 2 Dash Front and Back Recording
cams that is small and stealthy and what TechMan Recommends.
not a big suctions cup type with the dvr up front

WOW all 400 comments, come back again and help the newbies

as far as Where To Get It?
Techs has Links above, in the USA there are still only 2 Authorized Sources.
SpyTech and RoadCam, Reviews on Amazon indicate a difference of customer service received with an obvious winner.
One Tests Each Unit Before Sending out, while the other Sends What He Gots

January 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

Lastest Update info from Vendor
i sent e-mail to roadcam about the mph and kph i heard about and he said NO
you cant toggle between both in the menu. Its One or the Other.

he did mention: " The Sound Recording K1S is suppose to be Good now"

you may recall countless posts about the muffy low recording quality being issue.
anyone verify is this true?
its only the last shipments // figure about 45 to 60 days only, otherwise your recording is lower volume
Mine is Mute and Dont Use it as i dont want to record sounds and voices while i drive so it never did bother me

regardless, you may be the 1st with a good recording K1S
Please Let Us Know

other than that,
wait for Techmoans update for '16 /
he still uses the K1s in both his cars

update source from: Dan http://www.roadcam.us
they carry it there on the website

someone out ther know of a better unit? something else other than this 2x Dual Cam Front and Back 1080p
at least or better

WHAT YOU GOT WE DONT KNOW ABOUT?

January 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

Hi All / TechMoan

i Need some help.

i've bought a Koonlung K1S off amazon UK by spytech Inc in November 2015.
It came shipped with Firmware R179/20150825 88833 HW_V3

This firware doesn't allow me to record using the 1 or 2 minute segment recording, even though the options are there.
it always reverts back to 5 minutes when switched off and back on.

Also the panic button recording are hit a miss and don't alway save them in the seperate folder.


What is the latest firware that you are using TechMoan as i've done some research and theres all sorts of firmware versions flying about the internet with different file sizes.
e.g
R158 50417
R180

i don't want to brick the control unit as i want to use a trust and used firware that works.


HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards
Navraj Singh

January 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNavraj Singh

Hi, I did post a question but can't find it now and don't know if anyone was kind enough to reply, LOL.
So after watching Techmoan reviews for dash cams I chose the K1S Koonlung, it works and very happy but the front camera lead is short, I need about 300mm extra, does anyone know where I can buy such an extension, would it interfere with quality of recording if I cut solder and extend as the back camera lead has plenty of spare.
Many thanks to any help.
Nigel

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenternigel

http://www.innovv.com/#!the-k1/c3r6

So tell me is the manufacture Koonlung or innovv?

January 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Koonlung makes the K1S, Innovv buy the main unit and some camera components from them and do their own bit for the waterproof camera housings, bracketry, cables, mounts etc to suit the motorcycle application

January 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjokiin

Reverse the Cameras to Get Longer Lead up front
you mention has extra on back rear camera. Swap and they will work
bit rate is a bit lower but hard to see any difference in video.

tried the extra long usb lead. purchased M/F extensions lead and the video did not work. could not get the longer lead to get video thru it.
if you cut the extra lead in back and solder to front, you might have big issues of nothing working again after. do not recommend cutting the usb video leads. Reverse Cams is Best Solutions and will work. they do sell usb 1 meter length leads on ebay if you want to try it.

January 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

Hi just a technical question is feasible to wireless connection this device wireless so when you arrive home so don't have to dig out the Sd card?? To read it thankyou... LOVE a challenge!! lol thanks

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSi

Hi guys the wife got me the k1s for Christmas but due to work and weather I was just able to fit it today 3/2/16
My problem is I tested it and it worked fine but after feeding wires and then turning it on again it worked ok then started switching on and off and got very hot ...... then their was a smell of plastic burning from the little black box on charger now the charger doesn't work .... I contacted the company we got it from and their reply was I must have reversed positive and negative and it's my fault.... I'm not an idiot I know what I was doing I just plugged it into cigarette lighter then the smell of burning .... the thing still works on battery power but now iv no means of charging ..... can I buy a new charger anywhere
Cheers. Gerry

February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

Gerry, if the device is plugged in just over the cigarette charger - there is no way you would reversed the + and -... I will definitely go back to them and will challenge their comments... BTW it's good you have noticed that smell and not fire... Let me know how you progressed...

February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

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